Future London Leaders Round 14

The fourteenth round of Future London Leaders runs from September 2016 – March 2017. Profiles of the candidates are below.

isha-ahmed-square-cropIsha Ahmed
Principal Planning Officer, LB Enfield

I joined the planning policy team at Enfield in 2008 initially working on the Local Plan. In recent years, I have led from project initiation to adoption in April of an Enfield Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). My current role is to oversee the policy formulation and implementation of all things associated with Section 106 developer contributions and CIL. I have a keen interest in infrastructure planning and as part of the review of the Enfield Local Plan will be working with infrastructure providers to establish needs associated with the levels of growth proposed in the borough to 2032.

louise-benn2Louise Benn
Estate Manager, Greater London Authority

I have been a Chartered Surveyor for 17 years but have worked within the property industry for over 20 years. I am currently working for the GLA as an Estate Manager within the Housing and Land Directorate. My main duties are to provide general Estate and Asset Management advice and to help facilitate development by regularising tenancies.

Deepa Bdeepa-bhatti-2hatti
Senior Asset Manager, LB Hounslow

I’ve been part of the borough’s Asset Management Team since 2004, and my role has changed immensely during this period. In the early days, my focus was principally on carrying out landlord and tenant management functions such as lease renewals and rent reviews. In 2010, I moved into my current position, taking a much more strategic role in management of the portfolio, in addition to management of the assets team and associated budgets and the council’s outsourcing arrangement.

Jessica Bolsin
Development Manager, LB Croydon

I have worked at LB Croydon for the past 18 months, responsible for delivering a range of regeneration initiatives in Croydon town centre, from meanwhile uses to public realm projects, helping support the council’s growth and place-making ambitions. I have recently taken on a role with the council’s new development company where I am responsible for bringing forward redevelopment of a portfolio of housing and mixed use development sites, helping to address the borough’s acute housing shortage. I look forward to joining FLL to help develop my leadership skills, learn about best practice and meet other professionals from across the sector.

bhakti-depala-2Bhakti Depala
Senior Planning Officer, City of London

I have worked in planning and regeneration for over five years, focused on high profile projects such as Thames Gateway & Olympics and major developments within the Square Mile. I have a varied background including planning policy, regeneration and section 106 & CIL. I currently provide advice on major projects, including the impact tall buildings have on wind microclimate. I am combining this work area with impacts of daylight, sunlight and wind to achieve an optimal microclimate. I look forward to developing my leadership skills through FLL, and to learning about best practice from around London.


Mark Hollington
Area Planning Officer, City of Westminster

After starting as a planning consultant, I have spent the last eight years in development management at Westminster City Council. I currently work on planning applications principally within the West End which raise a range of interesting issues in this complex, high-profile and heritage-rich environment. I hope to gain an improved understanding of the challenges facing built environment professionals within London.

adam-hutching-2Adam Hutchings
Planning Policy Manager, LB Wandsworth

With over 10 years’ planning policy and development management experience, I currently lead the policy and information team at Wandsworth Council. This involves reviewing the Local Plan to guide development of the borough. I have a particular interest in housing policy and have also been lead representative for Wandsworth on Tideway’s Thames Tunnel Project for the past seven years. As the local government landscape continues to change, it’s really important to share learning and experiences and develop skills for the future. I think FLL will give me the opportunity to do just that.

gareth-james-2Gareth James
Senior Transport Project Officer (Consultation, Community Engagement, Business Systems), LB Hounslow

My early career culminated with three years at NSL Services, where my roles included managing Kensington & Chelsea’s parking enforcement contract. My interaction with public officials made me interested in public policy-making, and I earned a graduate degree in Urban & Regional Planning in Washington DC. I worked for Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ transportation section before returning to London and managing Hounslow’s TfL-funded Community Streets programme. While my role has evolved, it has happily continued to incorporate two of my primary interests: transport policy and community engagement.

colin-kavanagh-2Colin Kavanagh
New Homes Manager, Peabody

I manage a team in Peabody responsible for ensuring high levels of customer satisfaction for residents living in our new-build properties. We work closely with our colleagues in delivery to drive high levels of quality at handover ensuring that residents will be satisfied with their home. We lead on the handover of new-build schemes to the rest of the business from caretaking to asset management ensuring strong levels of communication. Previously I managed a housing co-operative in North London and worked within neighbourhoods at Tower Hamlets.

robert-lancaster-2Robert Lancaster
Strategic Applications Manager, LB Redbridge

I have 10 years’ experience in public sector planning across a mix of inner and suburban London councils delivering on a range of strategic projects. My current role is managing the Strategic Applications team at LB Redbridge with a focus on the delivery of new residential-led schemes in the Ilford Housing Zone.

jamie-simpson-square-cropJamie Simpson

Principal Planning Policy Officer, LB Barking & Dagenham

I have worked in public sector planning for almost six years, four of those at Barking & Dagenham. The bulk of my work is in providing housing, economic and other evidence for use in planning strategies. Too often, public sector planning is characterised as dry, tedious or lacking in dynamism and innovation, but my experience has always been the reverse. I hope to meet others on the programme who share this view and to gain new knowledge about the built environment and development.

jessica-watts-2Jessica Watts
Project Manager, Swan Housing

I have worked in Swan’s Development team since 2012, managing diverse projects from new business feasibility studies and regeneration tenders through coordinating consultant teams, design development and planning submissions, to delivering schemes on site. I recently co-wrote Swan’s new Design Guide, applying pragmatism to development decisions and focusing on the suitability of schemes for end users – our residents. I look forward to expanding my professional network with FLL, learning from others’ experience, and building on my leadership skills.

michael-westbrook-update-2Michael Westbrook
Housing Policy and Partnerships Manager , LB Lewisham

I have worked in housing for seven years now, starting as a management trainee at national Housing Association Affinity Sutton and then working at L&Q before joining Lewisham in 2015. At Lewisham I manage the team that leads on housing policy, housing intelligence and strategy, and managing the partnerships with key housing providers in the borough.

blossom-young-2Blossom Young
Project Manager – Accents, Poplar HARCA

Following an early career in youth & community development, I now design and deliver projects focused on the social, economic and cultural regeneration of Poplar, East London. With a keen interest in re-imagining the role of physical, people and other local assets in area growth, my projects utilise underused resources to generate new opportunities for the area and to empower communities to thrive. I led the development of asset management system Open Poplar, and am currently developing Fashioning Poplar, a £3.9m fashion hub in partnership with the GLA, London College of Fashion: UAL and the Trampery.

Future London Leaders Round 13

The thirteenth round of Future London Leaders ran from April – September 2016, and recently graduated with an excellent series of presentations on the potential of workspace around London. Candidate profiles are below:

Jacquie Agyemang-Johnson (2)

Jacquie Agyemang-Johnson
Development Manager, Sanctuary Housing

“I am a highly skilled housing professional, combining project management, strategic and commercial skills. I have expertise across all aspects of regeneration and commercial development, having been responsible for schemes from inception to completion and for the disposal & acquisition of land. I’ve worked independently and through consortium, partnership and joint venture arrangements, and have core competencies in contract negotiation and stakeholder engagement . I feel I am a natural relationship- and team-builder.”

Afraa Ali

Afraa Ali
Regeneration Officer, LB Enfield

“I have spent the last five years leading and implementing physical, social and environmental regeneration projects for the third sector in Asia, Central America and Europe. My current role involves delivery of key regeneration projects for the council in Ponders End and Meridian Water.”


max anderson 2 (2)Max Anderson
Project Manager – Housing Estate Regeneration, LB Hackney

“I have worked in the property, housing & construction industry for over 20 years, and have been involved in the development of NHS hospitals, local authority civic estate and commercial buildings. More recently I have focused on housing regeneration, project managing two estate regeneration schemes, alongside the refurbishment of street properties for social housing.”

Adam BarnettAdam Barnett
Principal Planner, LB Islington

“I joined Islington in 2013, and work on council development and public realm improvement projects across the borough. I am currently leading on a design competition to deliver a new leisure centre and housing in the south of the borough. Prior to joining Islington, I worked on investment policy for the National Housing Federation including right to buy and the affordable homes programme.”

Hermione Brightwell (2)Hermione Brightwell
Area Renewal Project Manager, LB Sutton

“My interest in the built environment began whilst working in a London bike shop, and has grown through project work in sustainable transport and an urban design MA, to my current role with LB Sutton. My particular interests are sustainable development and creating a greener built environment. I am excited to be participating in FoL’s programme, with an opportunity to meet with others working in this area, to learn more about London’s sustainable development and improve my skills to contribute to this.”

Sarah Coutts (2)Sarah Coutts
Area Manager, Greater London Authority

“I have worked in housing and regeneration for over 10 years and have been in my role at the GLA for just over a year. Prior to this I worked at the Homes and Communities Agency, for a registered provider and a private developer. My current role is very diverse and involves working with a range of registered providers, developers and boroughs, as well as acting as Design Lead for the North East Team. In the past year specifically, I have been working closely with LB Haringey on the Tottenham Housing Zone and in LB Newham on a housing-led regeneration scheme.”

Daniel Davies Profile Shot FLL (2)Daniel Davies
Senior Planner (Strategic Applications Team), LB Southwark

“My role is to provide professional planning advice on major development projects. Most recently this has involved master planning of the Aylesbury Estate, projects in and around Elephant & Castle and corporate proposals to deliver 1,500 new homes by 2018. I have a varied background, having worked in planning policy and environmental management prior to working in development management.”

FortuneGumbo (2)Fortune Gumbo
Acting Team Leader – Development Management (East), LB Haringey

“I am an Acting Team Leader with a delegated responsibility for the development management function (including planning enforcement) in the east of the borough. I have extensive experience in the private and public sector in England, Wales and overseas. I was part of a team focusing on service improvement to create a more efficient and robust Development Management Service. I have attended a number of formal leadership courses in the past. I hope to get a refresh on my skills, knowledge and leadership approach within the context of declining resources and rapidly changing legislative framework.”

KellyHarrisNHH (2)Kelly Harris
Senior Planning Manager, Notting Hill Housing Group

“I have worked in the development and delivery of affordable housing for the last eight years. My current role as Planning Manager at Notting Hill Housing is primarily focused on delivering planning permissions on a variety of development sites. My role encompasses project management, urban design, construction, cost control, policy review, partnership working, stakeholder engagement, and a lot of negotiation! Whilst the delivery of homes and the creation of good places is a fundamental part of the work that I do, my job definitely has a commercial focus, which often necessitates a creative and innovative approach to my work.”

Bethan James (2)Bethan James
Senior Development Officer, Greater London Authority

“I joined the GLA in 2014, working in the Regeneration team to develop and implement strategic economic development programmes for the northeastern boroughs of London. I recently moved to the Housing & Land Strategic Projects and Property team, where I now focus solely on the regeneration and development of the Royal Docks, LB Newham. Prior to that, I worked for LB Waltham Forest, delivering their High Street Regeneration programme, having completed a Masters in Spatial Planning and Urban Design and an architectural training.”

David Jowsey (2)David Jowsey
Principal Policy Advisor, Transport for London

“working in the Strategy and Policy team, I have helped form future transport policy for London through mywork on the 2050 Infrastructure Plan, the Roads Task Force and a number of Opportunity Area Planning Frameworks. I am currently developing transport policy for the forthcoming Mayor’s Transport Strategy and revised London Plan, with a focus on TfL’s role in supporting housing delivery. Prior to TfL, I worked for two years at LB Brent developing transport strategy and at Systra Consulting (formerly MVA Consultancy).”

Carolyn Roache (2)Carolyn Roche
Skills and Enterprise Project Manager, LB Barnet

“I lead on initiatives which support residents in Barnet to upskill and gain employment, whilst also strengthening local communities. Projects being delivered include the Platforms Programme, engaging with key stakeholders and local businesses to offer a range of initiatives such as employability skill development, work experience placements and internships. Prior to this I worked in Newham, delivering training as part of the Children’s Service workforce development programme.”

Will Steadman
Senior Planning Development Manager, London Legacy Development Corporation

“I have spent the last 10 years working for Urban and Mayoral Development Corporations in East London. My experience has focused on the formulation of planning policy and development strategies, and implementing those through influencing and guiding major development projects through the planning process. This role has combined political awareness, planning and design expertise, stakeholder management and community engagement.”

Jame Tolley (2)James Tolley
Construction Manager, Sanctuary Housing

“I’ve held a variety of positions in the construction industry over 15 years, including technical and managerial roles. For the last three years, I have been working on the provision of affordable homes in London. My current role is with Sanctuary Group’s Development arm. As a member of one of the country’s leading housing providers, I was part of a team that delivered 5,000 new homes nationally. I look forward to the opportunity of learning from other professionals who share a similar focus on ensuring that London’s future growth is both sustainable and inclusive.”

Josephine Vos (2)Josephine Vos
Principal Policy Adviser, Transport for London

“I work in the Strategy and Policy team, developing policies for both the London Plan and Mayor’s Transport Strategy; I also work closely with the GLA on developing Supplementary Planning Guidance. Key aspects of my work include promoting increased integration between transport and land use planning and ensuring that finite space in London is used more efficiently. Prior to this role, I worked in TfL Planning Projects, helping to make the case for the Northern line extension to Battersea to unlock housing and major commercial development.”

To view profiles of candidates from previous rounds, visit our alumni page.